2 charged after missing Trenton teen found hiding in closet

Posted at 3:04 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 23:49:31-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Two adults were arrested in connection to the reported disappearance of a Trenton teen after she was found hiding in a closet Tuesday.

Loretta Norvell

Loretta Norvell, 17, was reported missing after she apparently vanished from her bedroom Jan. 15, according to family members. She was found unharmed Tuesday.

Police said they found Loretta hiding in a closet when they executed a search warrant at a Caprice Drive home in Middletown.

Lucinda J. Bryant, 47, and her husband, Robert E, Bryant Sr., also 47, were both charged with falsification, obstruction of justice and interference with custody, police announced Wednesday.

Trenton Police Chief Arthur Scott said the Bryants are related to Loretta's boyfriend and she was not being held against her will. Police had previously said that she may have gone to meet her boyfriend, but never arrived.

Authorities obtained the warrant believing that Loretta had been in the home, but didn't expect her to still be there, Scott said.

Lucinda Bryant told officers she had never spoken to Loretta before, despite police telling her they had phone records showing Loretta had called, according to court records. After finding Loretta during the search, she told officers that she had been in the home since Jan. 15.

Robert Bryant told an officer that they would do it all over again if they had to, police said in court records. 

"There's a reason she was hiding from police," he told a reporter Wednesday night. He declined to say more because his attorney advised against it.

Mike Becraft, a friend and neighbor of the Bryants, said "they're good people."

"They do anything for anybody," Becraft said.

Police said the investigation was continuing and they expected more people would be charged.

Loretta was in the custody of Butler County Children's Services, Scott said.

Many supporters shared "missing" posters online and hundreds followed updates on the "Find Loretta Norvell Now" Facebook page during her apparent disappearance. 

Check back for more details in this developing story.